Safire Wood

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Safire Wood

James Wood’s essay Victory Speech and William Safire essay A Spirit Reborn were written about two of our country’s presidential speeches. Both Wood and Safire have distinctive opinions and different viewpoints; however, they do have resembling writing techniques. In A Spirit Reborn, Safire discusses the Gettysburg Address in comparison to 9/11 and analyzes the Gettysburg Address in great detail. Wood’s “Victory Speech” demonstrates how President Obama flowed through different ideas and analyzes specific details of President Obama’s speech offering his personal critique. Both Wood and Safire focus on word usage, connects the speeches with timelines, and historical events.

Both Woods and Safire focus on word usages in their critiques. In Safire’s analysis, his central focal point is the key idiom “dedicate” and illustrates its significance of meaning as it is utilized each time. He analyzes the Gettysburg Address in more depth explaining each of the five references and demonstrates the different meaning of the word as it changes with each use, “In those 236 words, you will hear the word dedicate five times” (Safire 42). A prime example of this can be seen when he states that the first two refer to “the nation’s dedication to two ideals mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the original ideals of ‘Liberty’ and the ideal that became central to the Civil War: ‘that all men are created equal” (Safire 42). The third reference is focused towards the location of the battle of Gettysburg; the fourth and fifth are directed towards the idea of liberty, which expresses all men are created equal. In a similar fashion Wood focuses on some key terms as well. His focuses is on President Obama’s phrase, “Yes we can” and explains how the term gets diminished to “Yes we did” and finally to “Yes we may” to (611). He stresses the power those few words affected the crowd by stating it was “extraordinarily moving in its sobriety” (Wood 611). Furthermore, He...
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